Ask AF: How Do I Find an Adoption Medicine Physician?

Guidance for parents who are searching for the right doctor to evaluate an international referral.

Q: Is there a certification process for physicians who specialize in international adoption?

A: Adoption medicine is a relatively new field, and currently there is no specific training or certification for those who specialize in it. Many doctors in this kind of practice are members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Adoption & Foster Care, a special-interest group committed to sharing information and educating other physicians. These physicians can be identified through the AAP Web site.

Frequently, physicians become involved in this field, as I did, after becoming an adoptive parent. This specialty has developed in the last six years through a list-serv for adoption medicine professionals. This forum allows newer doctors in the field to learn from those who have been seeing internationally adopted children for many years.

What criteria should you look for in an adoption medical specialist?

  • Make sure that the doctor is board-certified in the specialty in which he practices (i.e., family medicine, infectious diseases, developmental and behavioral pediatrics). How do you know? Ask!
  • Inquire as to how long (and how often) the physician has cared for adopted children. What type of care is provided? Specialty (initial evaluations and one or two follow-up exams) or comprehensive evaluations and ongoing care?
  • Ask other parents for recommendations.
  • Ask your agency for several recommendations.
  • Send your adoption referral to several doctors. The second (or third) doctor may have an insight into something seen in a video, or she may have actually been to the orphanage.
  • Ask the doctor if he belongs to the AAP Section. If so, this shows a commitment to adoption medicine.

The number of doctors practicing adoption medicine is relatively small, and it is unlikely that a formal certification process will be set in place soon. If you know a doctor who shows a special interest in adoption medicine or sees many adopted children, encourage her to join the AAP Section if she does not already belong.




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Adoption Agencies

Family & Children’s Agency, Inc.
Norwalk, CT
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Family Law Company “Magistr”
Kolomyia, NY
International
AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Building Blocks Adoption Service
Medina, OH
U.S. Newborn, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Family Life Services Adoption Agency
Lynchburg, VA
U.S. Newborn
ALL STATES
ALL STATES
Children’s Home Society & Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Saint Paul, MN
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Gladney Center for Adoption
Fort Worth, TX
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Bethany Christian Services
Grand Rapids, MI
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Bal Jagat- Children’s World Inc.
Long Beach, CA
International
Adoption by Shepherd Care
Hollywood, FL
U.S. Newborn, International
Abrazo Adoption Associates
San Antonio, TX
U.S. Newborn, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Spence-Chapin Services to Children & Families
New York, NY
U.S. Newborn, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Children’s Connections, Inc.
Lubbock, TX
U.S. Newborn
TX
Page 1 of 3123

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